History & the Hotline Bling: Get the App

Curatescape creates an opportunity for the public to “pin” that location’s history with a layered experience of oral storytelling, photos and links to read. As Mark Tebeau wrote in his article Listening to the City: Oral History and Place in the Digital Age, “The mobile computing revolution offers tantalizing possibilities to archivists, historians, and curators interested in reaching broader public audiences.” Now if we can just make sure the Internet connection is feeling equitable to everyone.

Chewie in front of the Fox Theatre. Click photo for a Spokane Historical story.

The Spokane Historical app offered an opportunity to deepen my education, culture and interactivity with my surroundings. There was a concern that I would be taken out of the moment by having my face in the screen but then a sweaty resignation overtook me – MY FACE MELDED WITH THE PHONE SCREEN WAY BACK. I surrendered to the digital experience offered by a community of EWU history students who were asking me to join them on a stroll through time and geek out. The tags, maps and tours added to my user experience while anticipating my next lilac city tale from the past. My pug Chewie assisted with the interactivity by posing in front of our favorite historical places.

Photo: Chewie at Doyle’s Ice Cream parlor in West Central Spokane. Click photo for a Spokane Historical story.

While our history is walkable and nearby, the article Some Account of an Extraordinary Traveler: Using Virtual Tours to Access Remote Heritage Sites of Inuit Cultural Knowledge how VR tours are potentially powerful tools for connecting people to heritage sites that might otherwise not be accessible. Apps such as this or Mark Tebeau’s O.G. Cleveland Historical give an unconventional way for people to engage in community projects and stimulate tourism.

Chewie being a tourist in her hometown at Riverfront Park. Click photo for Spokane Historical story.